Early morning light filters through the window (which is why this photo is a little dark). If hanging out on the couch with Dad and the sisters isn't worth smiling about, what is?
Birthdays, especially the first birthday, is not just for the baby. It's a birthday for the mom in a very literal sense. You can look at your little person looking back at you, and are suddenly in awe that a year ago at this time you had just gone through one of the more painful moments of your life and then you received this sweet thing as your reward.
We start early at our house by leaving copies of Merriam-Webster's Unabridged Dictionary laying around for word learning pleasure. This boy has jumped right in.He does love books and makes a beeline for the dictionary if it's left within his reach. He will go and grab one of his own books and cry until someone comes to read it for him. And as soon as he realizes the gate to the stairs is down he's off to the races, and if you come upon him already half-way up the perilous narrow staircase he waves at you and smiles and continues on his way.
A few nights ago he woke up crying; a very unusual event. We brought him to our bed where he might have fallen right to sleep but he was just so thrilled to be there with both mom and dad that he had to keep checking we hadn't left. He would put his little hand on me and then on Ben, startling him awake. Then he would bury his head next to ours. He finally settled down by sort of laying on top of my growing belly, an option that didn't really work for me and so I carried him back up to bed. 30 minutes later he was crying again, and so sad about something. So I fixed him a bottle and in the darkness sat in the rocking chair and fed him and rocked him to sleep. I was tired. It was 2 a.m.
But there is something about being able to rock your baby in the middle of night that is so peaceful and calm. There is nothing to distract, no one to disturb; there is just the two of you. And on the eve of his birthday it was my chance to say goodbye to his babyhood. Not that there won't be other sleepless nights for us. But he won't be so little, or so accomodating as to willingly lay his little head on my chest and go to sleep. And he won't be our baby much longer. And as tired as I was I was grateful.
Happy Birthday, sweet boy. I love you so much.